if the first half of the first week of the new


If the first half of the first week of the new decade is any indication, 2020 will be a flush year. For example, on today's walk the trail is littered with an abundance of acorns, peeled, one nibble taken from each, extravagantly wasted. Do squirrels realize winter has just begun, or have they been fooled by the long succession of mild days? Near trail’s edge, shiny, gelatinous bubbles of wood frog eggs bobble in shallow ephemeral pools. Wood frogs have been, in fact, caught in the middle of doing the deed on this fine winter day, given away by their raucous chuckling. I pause to mourn the absence of another ephemeral pond nearby, scraped out of existence this past summer by a bulldozing machine and a developer with no sense of nature’s needs. Frogs and salamanders in those woods will have nowhere to reproduce this year, and may well disappear. So it goes. For today, an abundance of rain has blessed us with not only a new generation of tadpoles, but also a bumper crop of delicious hedgehog mushrooms (thanks Tricia!). Unlike the squirrels, we eat all we gather. ~K


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We depart from the main boat dock at Devils Fork State Park, Salem SC, 28676